Here are the five highest-earning Black musicians from concert tours of 2023

BY Ben Ebuka Oji December 28, 2023 11:05 AM EDT

The significant economic outcomes of concert tours for cities have made them a profitable match between artists and host cities. Recently, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift were acknowledged by Morgan Stanley as contributing $5.4 billion to the U.S. economy in the third quarter.

According to Forbes estimates, the top 10 highest-earning musicians made over $1 billion from January 1 to August 31, despite the significant cost of touring. However, not all the money generated on a tour goes directly to the headline artist. A global tour involves a large pool of people, such as bandmates, backup singers, dancers, crew members, sound engineers, lighting, and stage designers, who all travel from city to city with the headlining artist. Additionally, venues are rented, and stadium fields are transformed into stages. The artist’s manager, agent, promoter, and ticketing company also receive a portion of the total revenue.

While Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour concluded in October, Swift, America’s top-earning artist in 2023, commenced the second half of her ‘Eras Tour’ in November. And in a groundbreaking achievement, Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ surpassed all previous records by grossing over $1 billion. This remarkable feat not only makes it the highest-grossing tour of all time but also the first tour to exceed the billion-dollar mark, as confirmed by Pollstar. With more concert dates scheduled until 2024, it is anticipated that the Eras Tour will set more unprecedented records.

Among the Black musicians who embarked on music tours within this period, Beyoncé and The Weekend alone grossed over $900 million combined. However, the cumulative earnings of the five Black artists listed below have surpassed an impressive $1.2 billion. Nevertheless, when the second phase of The Weekend’s ‘After Hours til Dawn’ tour, the concluding half of Drake’s ‘It’s All a Blur tour and SZA’s ultimate fourth leg ‘SOS Tour’ end in 2024, this figure is expected to soar well beyond a billion dollars, and possibly set groundbreaking records.

Here are the five Black musicians that grossed the highest from concert tours in 2023.

Beyoncé (Renaissance World Tour)

In Kansas City, MO, on October 1, Beyoncé concluded her highly successful Renaissance World Tour, which commenced on May 10, 2023. This musical extravaganza captivated sold-out audiences throughout North America and Europe, leaving countless fans unable to secure tickets due to overwhelming demand. The tour concluded with an astonishing box office gross and a total attendance of about 2.7 million. Spanning 56 shows in 39 cities across 12 countries, the Renaissance Tour sold an astounding 2.7 million tickets, and by the end of the tour, it had amassed a staggering $579 million in revenue, solidifying its place as one of the highest-grossing tours in history. Despite the substantial expenses incurred during the tour, Beyoncé reportedly earned a remarkable $145 million.

The Weekend (After Hours til Dawn Tour)

The second (European and Latin America) leg of The Weekend’s ‘After Hours til Dawn’ tour kicked off in June, following the successful first leg in North America in 2022, which generated $148 million in revenue. Presently, the talented singer has already amassed over $350 million from his global tour. Currently, The Weekend has made history by breaking the attendance record at London Stadium, attracting 160,000 fans over two nights on July 7 and 8. Special guests Kaytranada and Mike Dean also made appearances during these shows. The After Hours til Dawn tour, which supports The Weekend’s fourth and fifth studio albums, After Hours (2020) and Dawn FM (2022), started on July 14, 2022, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. So far, the tour has sold 1.9 million tickets and covered 64 shows, including 21 in North America, 30 in Europe, and 13 in Latin America, spanning from July 14, 2022, to October 25, 2023. The remaining portion of the tour, scheduled for 2024, will consist of 11 shows in various locations in Oceania, including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland. This will bring the total number of shows for the After Hours til Dawn tour to 75, spanning 53 cities.

Drake (It’s All a Blur Tour)

Drake’s inaugural North American tour in half a decade, the ‘It’s All a Blur Tour,’ is currently underway. This co-headlining tour is in support of his latest collaborative album with Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage, titled Her Loss (2022), as well as his eighth solo studio album, For All the Dogs (2023). Commencing on July 5, 2023, in Chicago, the tour is set to conclude on March 27, 2024, in Birmingham, Alabama. Spanning across the United States and Canada, the tour encompasses a total of 72 shows. Impressively, the tour has already amassed a staggering $140.9 million in revenue from 50 shows, with an impressive 528K tickets sold.

Lizzo (The Special Tour)

Lizzo, the renowned singer and rapper, embarked on The Special Tour in Sunrise, Florida on September 23, 2022. This tour was a platform to promote her fourth studio album, Special (2022). Spanning across North America, Europe, and Australia, The Special Tour marks Lizzo’s third concert tour. The tour’s immense success was evident as it amassed a staggering $27.7 million in gross revenue in 2022 alone. By the time The Special tour concluded at the Fuji Rock Festival in Auckland, New Zealand on July 30, 2023, it had generated a remarkable $86.3 million in revenue and sold an impressive 853,000 tickets.

SZA (SOS Tour)

American singer-songwriter SZA embarked on her highly anticipated SOS Tour on February 21, 2023. SOS Tour marked her second concert tour and first arena tour, in support of her critically acclaimed second studio album, SOS, released in 2022. The SOS Tour began with its first leg in North America during the spring, followed by a second leg in Europe during the summer. SZA then returned for a final leg in North America, covering the United States and Canada during the fall. The North American legs consisted of 18 and 21 shows respectively, while the European leg included 15 stops. The tour, which extends beyond the 2023 Boxscore tracking period, has achieved remarkable success, grossing an impressive $95.5 million and selling 674K tickets across 54 shows in 2023. As for the upcoming fourth leg, it is scheduled to commence on May 29, 2024, in Barcelona and conclude in Montreal, QC. Canada, on August 4, 2024.